UDATE: James Lileks shares the sentiments of Gates of Vienna. In referring back to his appearance on the Hugh Hewitt show (transcribed here), Mr. Lileks says:
|I was rather exercised, and I have a dim recollection of referring to the Senate as opportunists, boozebags, kluxers and well-oiled weathervanes. Well, if the shoe fits, drive it up their hindquarters. You could say I’m overreacting – well, I dearly hope so.|
Over-reaction is the only way to get through to the stoned-deaf Senate. These people are from another moral universe. As Lileks says, they suffer from Senatitus. That’s short for being surrounded by the obsequious. Look for a more detailed description of this word on this coming Monday’s post on The Neighborhood of God.
We admit to being secretly pleased when the witty and intelligent among us come down on the same side of the issues as we do. It’s a warm and fuzzy imprimatur.
If you don’t think Congressional legislation is a hydra-headed monster, worthy of the labors of Herakles, perhaps this latest item will persuade you. Not that Gates of Vienna readers need much convincing.
The Denver Post reports that Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has filed a bill seeking to repeal an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations FY2006.
What do you suppose the Hon. Tancredo wants repealed? Some restriction on food additives? Maybe he’s out to abolish farm subsidies?
Not at all, at all, dear readers. Rep. Tancredo wants to slice off one of the many heads growing out of this appropriations bill. And an ugly head it is indeed.
This particular amendment, SA 1803 to H.R. 2744, which passed by voice vote in late September, which was cleared by Homeland Security, and which was signed by your President, is the creation of Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT). SA 1803 to H.R. 2744 amends the Immigration and Nationality Act.
How’s that for hydra-headed? An agricultural appropriations bill grows a piece of tissue designed to protect illegal aliens by changing the laws on immigration. We’re talking about the Agriculture Department, not the Justice Department. We’re talking about the people who deal with the cows and the corn. What are they doing amending immigration laws?
Here’s the amendment:
|Section 274(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(1) is amended by adding at the end the following: “(C) It is not violation of clauses (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (A), or of clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) except where a person encourages or induces an alien to come to or enter the United States, for a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States, or the agents or officers of such denomination or organization, to encourage, invite, call, allow, or enable an alien who is present in the United States to perform the vocation of a minister or missionary for the denomination or organization in the United States as a volunteer who is not compensated as an employee, notwithstanding the provision of room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living expenses, provided the minister or missionary has been a member of the denomination for at least one year.”|
Translated, the practical implications — and explications, for that matter — are these: At the behest of the Mormon Church in Utah, which serves to keep Sen. Bennett in office, Mormons (and any other religions so inclined) are now free to use illegal aliens as volunteer missionaries in this country.
|A spokesman for the church, Michael Purdy, said the law will allow illegal immigrants to serve as Mormon missionaries, which they previously could not do. “This narrow exception to the immigration act allows people of all faiths to fulfill their religious obligations,” Purdy said.|
Rep. Tancredo wants this particular hydra head severed.
On November 16th his office sent out the introduction of H. R. 4321, a bill to repeal Sen. Bennett’s rider to the fiscal appropriation for the Agriculture Department.
|“By repealing this dangerous law, we will send a clear message to terrorists plotting against our country: no church, no synagogue, no mosque, no religious group of any kind will be a safe haven for terrorism in America,” said Tancredo. “Since 2003, federal prosecutors have charged more than 500 suspected terrorists with immigration violations. Shielding radical religious organizations from immigration prosecution may have prevented those terrorists from being brought to justice expeditiously.”|
|Bennett’s provision, Section 796 of H.R. 2744, protects religious organizations from prosecution on immigration charges when the illegal alien is a volunteer for the organization. In addition, Bennett’s amendment specifically allows religious groups to provide “room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living expenses” to illegals.|
In other words, Sen. Bennett’s amendment might be intended to cover only missionary volunteers, but it could equally applied to terrorists under the cover of religion. It seems to us at Gates of Vienna that Sen. Bennett is either ignorant of the Law of Unintended Consequences, or he simply doesn’t care.
For what it’s worth, Sen. Bennett’s amendment had no co-sponsors. Rep. Tancredo, on the other hand, gathered fourteen co-sponsors to repeal the amendment
|made by section 796 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006, exempting from harboring sanctions compensation for alien volunteers for certain religious organizations.|
The co-sponsors so far are:
Rep Akin, W. Todd [MO-2]
Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5]
Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1]
Rep Goode, Virgil H., Jr. [VA-5]
Rep Gutknecht, Gil [MN-1]
Rep Hayworth, J. D. [AZ-5]
Rep Hefley, Joel [CO-5]
Rep Hostettler, John N. [IN-8]
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3]
Rep King, Steve [IA-5]
Rep Kingston, Jack [GA-1]
Rep Pence, Mike [IN-6]
Rep Weldon, Dave [FL-15]
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-8]
On November 15th, Rep. Tancredo’s bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by the Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI). To contact a particular member of the Committee, visit the linked page. Or, you may go to contact page to express your sentiments regarding this bill to repeal an amendment, made by a United States Senator, which undermines our sovereignty.
Whatever your opinion, remember to use temperate language. Vitriolic diatribes may be satisfying to write, but they leave no trace in the minds of the recipients.
If you’re not familiar with the legend of the Hydra, here’s a summary:
|A snake-like monster, living at Lerna in the Argolid, with numerous heads, which Herakles had to destroy as his Second Labour. As fast as the hero cut off one head, another (or two more) grew up in its place. Herakles therefore enlisted the aid of his companion and charioteer Iolaos, who used firebrands to cauterise each stump severed by Herakles, until eventually the monster was slain.|
Rep. Tancredo and his band of co-sponsors — including our own Virgil Goode — find themselves of the unenviable position of Iolaos.
Cauterize those stumps, boys!
Hat tip: Jeff at Geopolitical Review.
Even the most corrupt and wicked of groups are kind to their own or occasionally stumble into estimable deeds to the majority.
This US government is the nightmare the founding fathers most feared: federal authority to tyranny without regard to the people or the states that make up the union.
While I am a registered republican, I detest the awful beginnings of our first president, Lincoln. The naked power grabs by the federal government from the states accelerated under this fabled president.
Today, there is no accountability. We all hear that term thrown around – accountability – but it’s been so overused that it rolls off of us like criminal indictments off of Bill Clinton.
We’re supposed to be happy with being able to “vote” in gerrymandered districts that all but guarantee the idiot incumbent a permanent government pension over-spending our money with no consequences or accountability.
There is not a single politician today that advocates a return to the government of our founding – a limited federal government only organized for diplomacy and security with the power residing in the states.
Nope, they all want to perpetuate or grow the government. The best we seem to get is the occasional “hero” who wants to “cut back” on the growth of the federal tyranny.
I see no redeeming politicians. Anywhere.
Bill, I see none either. Much less any Statesmen on the horizon.
I thought it would be fun to see what the amended law would like. Sometimes you get the strangest results. The amendment is in bold. Reading the whole thing it is even stupider than you said.
If it was a protection for organizations that do not have the ability to conduct through backgrounds checks from mistakes, or the ability to defend themselves against criminal action by a District Attorney who likes to prosecute doubtful cases, I could see it.
It is prohibition on prosecuting people who are knowingly or with gross negligence participate in a violation of the law. An excepted organization can employ or the use the services of a person who is committing a criminal act for which he could go to jail, but those who employ him are exempt form prosecution.
If there is a real problem it would have been much more sensible to amend the section on hiring non US workers with work permits and the appropriate clearances.
A happy Thanksgiving to you and the Baron.
TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > § 1324
§ 1324. Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
Release date: 2005-05-25
(a) Criminal penalties
(A) Any person who—
(i) knowing that a person is an alien, brings to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien;
(ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;
(iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;
(iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law; or
(I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or
(II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,
shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B).
(B) A person who violates subparagraph (A) shall, for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs—
(i) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i) or (v)(I) or in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), or (iv) in which the offense was done for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both;
(ii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), (iv), or (v)(II), be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both;
(iii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) during and in relation to which the person causes serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of title 18) to, or places in jeopardy the life of, any person, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both; and
(iv) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) resulting in the death of any person, be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined under title 18, or both.
“(C) It is not violation of clauses (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (A), or of clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) except where a person encourages or induces an alien to come to or enter the United States, for a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States, or the agents or officers of such denomination or organization, to encourage, invite, call, allow, or enable an alien who is present in the United States to perform the vocation of a minister or missionary for the denomination or organization in the United States as a volunteer who is not compensated as an employee, notwithstanding the provision of room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living expenses, provided the minister or missionary has been a member of the denomination for at least one year.
Correct me if I’m wrong but the mormons are trying to import terrorists?
Mike H. —
No, as I understand it, the Mormons want to be exempt from the onerous requirement of checking the immigration status of their missionaries, and free from culpability if those missionaries turn out to be illegal aliens.
But the same legislation could exempt Jamaat ul-Fuqra from penalty for bringing illegal Pakistani immigrants into the country. Not a good idea, right?